the 50 Year Marathon

The year was 1911 when Japanese marathon runner Shizo Kanakuri competed in the domestic qualifying trials for the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. Kanakuri set a marathon world record and, as a result, was selected as one of only two athletes that Japan could afford to send to the event that year.

Imagine the surprise then when Kanakuri started the race, but he never finished. Why? He disappeared during the Olympic marathon race. What he started, he was never seen as finishing.

It was a rough trip for Kanakuri as it started with an 18-day-long trip to Stockholm – first by ship, then by train, and he needed five days to recover from the race. The problem? He never fully recovered. Weakened by the long journey from Japan, he lost consciousness midway through the race and was cared for by a local family who found him on the side of the road. Embarrassed from his “failure,” he returned to Japan and never notified the Olympic race officials.

For 50 years, Swedish authorities considered him missing before discovering that he was living in Japan. Imagine his surprise when, in 1967, he was given an opportunity to complete his run. He accepted and finished the marathon in 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 5 hours, 32 minutes, and 20.3 seconds. Upon finishing the race, Kanakuri was asked how it felt. He replied, “It was a long trip! Along the way, I got married, had six children and ten grandchildren.”

I love that story.

What began as a race, appeared to have ended in what Shizo saw as a failure. Yet, there was a redemption story and a race that was begging to be finished! Brings to mind, Hebrews 12:1-2.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Eyes on Jesus, friend. If there’s breath in your lungs, there’s grace that meets and a race set before you.

Big Steps, Bigger God.

And it begins.

I’ve always loved the story of Simon Peter walking on the water. It certainly wasn’t in his plans, but on that early morning, amidst that storm that was rocking the boat, He saw Jesus walking on the water and Simon Peter’s ADHD took over. “Lord if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water!” And Jesus simply responds, “Come.” I’m not convinced that Simon Peter really thought through his request. But when Jesus said, “Come”, he had a decision to make: choose the safety of where he was, or risk missing the greater miracle of where Jesus was calling him to go.

Peter chose the crazy. He stepped into the “uncertainty” trusting that if Jesus called him to it, Jesus would see him through it. Was it messy? You bet. Life oftentimes gets that way when we take our eyes of the Lord. But was Jesus there to catch him in his moment of need? Absolutely.

True then, just as true today.

That’s been my life and ministry story for twenty-five years now. My title may have changed, but the call, the promises and faithfulness of the Lord, and the assurance of Jesus’ voice to stand beside us in all seasons has not and will never change.

This morning, as a staff, we gathered in Robb Chapel and prayed for and alongside one another. I can confidently say that, thus far, it has been one of my favorite moments as Senior Pastor (granted, I am ten hours into the new role 🙂

Here’s to more “stepping out of the boat” moments for us all and seeing what God has in store.

To Him be the glory!

Shut the Gates

Nehemiah’s story is one of my favorites in the Old Testament. It’s an incredible story of leadership and what happens when you take God-sized steps towards a task that comes out of God-given convictions.

In Nehemiah, you find God’s people returning to Jerusalem from captivity in Babylon and, under his leadership, they rebuilt the city walls, reestablished their homes, and started gathering again for public worship.

Slowly, life began to return to normal. However, as normalcy returned, the discipline of Sabbath and taking a weekly rest slowly diminished. So much so that, when Nehemiah returns from a trip to Babylon, he discovers that the Sabbath day is no longer a Sabbath day to the Lord. It had become just another day of trade and business.

Nehemiah’s not happy. So, he makes a command.

When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day.

Nehemiah 13:19

He ordered the shutting of the gates to the city on the Sabbath.

When I came across this story last week in preparation for last Sunday’s word in Harvest, something about that moment stirred my heart. Aren’t we all called, to a certain extent, to shut the gates and turn down the volume of noise in a culture that gets busier and noisier day by day?

I believe we are.

That’s the beauty that awaits us when we make sabbath and solitude a discipline in our lives.

So, tell me. What would it look like for YOU to shut the gates of some of the things you’re allowing into your heart and mind and, instead, allow some solitude and stillness in to sit with the Lord?

Remember. We control the level of noise we allow in.

Perhaps saying “no” to somethings you’re allowing in is actually saying “yes” to something much greater.

Something To Look Forward To

Late one Friday afternoon, as a local church pastor was preparing his Sunday message in his home study, his little girl crept into the room and said, “Daddy, can we play?” On a deadline and deep in the “Sunday’s coming” process, he told his daughter, “I’m so sorry, sweetheart, but I’m busy right now. Tell you what, in an hour, I would love to play with you. Deal?” With a smile, the little girl told her father, “Ok, when you’re finished, Daddy, I am going to give you a great big hug.” She turned, went to the door to leave, but before doing so, she turned back around, ran over to her father, and gave him a, “chiropractic, bone-breaking hug” (his words, if memory serves me correctly).

Perplexed, he told his daughter, “Wait a minute, I thought the hug was for when I was finished!” She smiled and answered before running out of the study, “Dad, I just wanted you to know what you have to look forward to.”

There’s a pretty sweet picture of Advent, friends.

Remember, the four Sundays of Advent leading us to Christmas Eve are like speed bumps, where we’re encouraged to slow down and remember: Not only did God come into the world in the person and presence of Jesus, but also that we have something to look forward to. He’s coming again.

Last week, we looked at hope revealed in the presence of God. This Sunday, let’s step into Luke 2 and look at hope revealed found in this beautiful word: purpose. We hope you’re making plans to join us, either in person or online. I can’t wait to share this next week’s message with every one of you!

Vantage Point

A friend was telling me recently about a trip he once made to see Niagara Falls, and an observation he made on that trip several years back really struck me. He said that his first glimpse of the falls occurred when he first arrived to his hotel and, looking out, he was amazed at its size and the sound of its power.

Later that day, he went down into a park that was closer to the falls. From that vantage point, he said, “not only could we see the water going over the side, but we could hear the thundering sound of it hitting the basin below!” However, what made the trip worthwhile, was his family’s experience on the Maid of the Mist. It’s a boat ride you can take at the bottom of the falls that gives you an up-close and water-soaked perspective from below the falls.

As I listened to his experience, I had the thought that each observation he had about Niagara Falls was all based on the same body of water; however, the impact of the falls was based on the proximity he had in relationship to the falls. Where he was in proximity to the falls impacted the experience he brought back.

I wonder if the same can be said of the relationship we have with Jesus.

How much of Jesus we experience in our daily lives, I believe, is determined by how close we choose to be with Him.

Last week, I loved that message given by our Bishop in Residence, Bob Hayes. It was such a powerful word relating to a life that’s lived in close proximity to the Lord and how blessings follow.

This Sunday, we have one last message lined up in our Generations series. Joining me on stage during the sermon time will be someone who’s not a stranger to our Harvest worship family: Rev. Mark Swayze. Mark led worship in Harvest for many years, but last year, stepped out and stepped in to become our youth pastor at The Woodlands UMC. I’ll interview Mark on what he’s learning from our young people in the church, and we’ll dig a little deeper into what the Psalmist meant when he said, “One generation commends your works to the next, and they shall declare your mighty acts.”

It’s going to be a good one on Sunday! I hope you’ll join us!

Integrity

A minister, late for a meeting located in a busy downtown office complex, parked his car in a no-parking zone because he was short on time and couldn’t find any available places to park. Before he rushed into his meeting, he put a note under the windshield wiper that read, “I have circled the block 10 times. If I don’t park here, I will miss my appointment. Forgive us our trespasses.” After the minister’s meeting was finished, he came back to his car to see that his note was gone and, instead, replaced with a citation given by a police officer. On the citation, the following was written: “I’ve circled this block for 10 years. If I don’t give you a ticket, I’ll lose my job. Lead us not into temptation.”

Loved that story.

Integrity is everything, and little compromises here and there can lead to big shifts that – if we’re not careful – can get us all into a whole lot of trouble. And hasn’t this been the theme in Daniel? Daniel’s story in the Old Testament has been one of consistency and encouragement reminding us all that we are never alone.

Where we set our face is important, and we must never forget that – even in the midst of the fiery trials and the lions’ den – there is another in the fire… there is someone who stands beside us when the devil is on the prowl.

A list I had intended to share in last week’s message got cut because of time, but I wanted to pass this one along to you. Not sure who the author was, but I thought it made a pretty great list of qualities that make up integrity and who modeled them in Scripture.

May we all seek out these qualities and live as examples that point people to the love of God at work in our lives! Most importantly? May God be given the glory.

Amen!

Self-LESS

I said to myself, “Just look at this great city of Babylon that I have created! I, by my own mighty power, have built this beautiful city for my glory. I built it to show my power, my might, my majesty, and my glory!” – Daniel 4:30

Pride is a sneaky little snake, isn’t it?

God gave ol’ King Nebuchadnezzar a dream, an interpretation, even a Daniel to give out some warning and some hope in the midst of the warning. Yet, he missed it all because his eyes were focused on “I”, and God eventually humbled him because of it. That’s the danger of pride.

Have you ever thought about what you find in the midst of pride? Right in the middle of the word pride you find this:
pr I de

Ironically, what stands in the middle of sin?
s I n

Simply put, pride is a problem of the “I”, and it’s a sin that needs to be corrected.

Here were some of the warning signs of a prideful heart that I shared in last week’s message from Daniel 4:

  • You’re always right
  • Easily offended
  • Don’t like to be corrected
  • Usually ungrateful
  • Often impatient with others and sometimes with God
  • Not afraid of temptations
  • Like to talk more than listen
  • Desire to be first or best
  • Need to be noticed
  • Obstinate towards authority
  • Quick to find fault with others
  • Bold to contradict others
  • Demanding and hard to please
  • Boast about achievements

I’ve seen myself in those bullet points more than I would like to admit, honestly. Perhaps you do as well? There’s good news, friends, and it’s the same good news that Daniel gave to Nebuchadnezzar. Two things are required to correct a prideful heart: repentance and looking beyond yourself to help others. (see Daniel 4:27)

What changed Nebuchadnezzar’s heart was the moment he lifted his eyes toward heaven and praised God for His goodness. (Daniel 4:34)

We get better when we replace pride with praise.

What a gift Daniel chapter 4 is for us all because it reminds us that even in a Babylonian kingdom, Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t so far away that he couldn’t be turned around and saved by a God who was for him.

Sunday, I’m already excited to bring you our next stop in Daniel’s incredible story that includes the familiar Lion’s Den. Get ready because that den wasn’t a den of lions, it was a den of prayer!

It’s going to be a big Sunday of worship. Come on and join us!

Pop Tart Faith

It’s funny the way displays at grocery stores can catch your eye.

I ran into the store to grab a few items needed for our dinner a few days ago and, much to my surprise, I was stopped in my tracks by the largest display of Pop-Tarts that I had ever seen. It took me back to my childhood. Growing up, I loved Pop-Tarts. More than I care to admit, honestly. If memory serves me correctly, they weren’t much for filling you up but, when toasted properly, they were absolute perfection. But that was the key: they needed to be in that toaster just long enough that the inside was hot. If they popped up too early, they weren’t worthy of eating, in my humble opinion. Many mornings I remember having to push them back down in the toaster so the heat could have a sufficient chance to do its work and make those pastries satisfactory for my enjoyment.

The same can be true for trials in our lives, right?

Ever feel like God is pushing you down in the heat when, the reality is, you just want to pop up and pop out of those difficulties and circumstances?

However, what if something greater is happening in the trials? Remember that in the heat comes a refining, and through the refining, God does His most beautiful work.

I love what James says about trials and adversity:

My friends, consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing , so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. – James 1:2-4

We’re learning so much from our time in Daniel 1-3. This Sunday, I will be bringing a word on Daniel 4. Go ahead and read the chapter.

It’s going to be another incredible Sunday of worship.

The 23,000.

Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said, “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons’ he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king.” – Daniel 2:19-23

23,000.

That’s the estimated number of breaths that you will take over the course of this day. 23,000 times (give or take) we will go through the process of inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, a complicated respiratory task that requires physiological precision, with potentially little thought to the miracle that is breathing.

So, the thought for the day is this one: how will we use the gift of breath that God has given to us, over the course of this day that lies ahead?

In our message from Daniel last week, I loved the reminder from Daniel 2 that on the other side of the crisis in Daniel’s life, he prayed, and on the other side of the prayer and God’s answer to him, came the simple act of praise. Daniel lifted his eyes and hands to the Lord, and he praised God for the breakthrough in his life. However, what about when we don’t see breakthrough? This is the challenge, right?

It’s easy to sing our praise over those things that take our breath away: an answered prayer, a beautiful sunrise or sunset, an unexpected blessing or surprise that greets us. Of course, God welcomes those praises, but I’m pretty sure he wants those other breaths, as well.  

Brenna sang a song last Sunday from Bryan and Katie Torwalt called “Praise Before My Breakthrough.” If you’re not familiar with Bryan and Katie Torwalt, you should check out their music. They’re some of my favorites. I love their hearts as worship leaders and song writers. The song, “Praise Before my Breakthrough” puts some beautiful language to the prayers of praise that have yet to meet answers in your life. It’s worth a listen to hear both the song and the story behind the song and their hearts. Watch the video

This Sunday, let’s dive into Daniel 3. We’re turning the temperature up this week. (Read Daniel 3 to get the joke). 😉

I can’t wait.

What are you FACING, today?

Revivalist, pastor and author, Dr. Vance Havner, said the following in regards to Jesus: “He didn’t have a ‘hard face’ for it was full of love and compassion, but he did have a ‘set face.’ He had made up His mind that He knew where He was going. Though the devil offered Him the kingdom of this world, our Savior took no shortcut; He chose the way of Calvary… He had set His face like a flint, and neither friend nor foe, man nor devil, could divert Him from His goal.”

I loved that description of Jesus that He “had set His face like a flint.”

Truth be told, this is why I love digging into the Holy Scriptures. The Word of God is full of men and women, the heroes of the faith, who set their faces like a flint.

  • Caleb “…gave himself totally to God.” (Joshua 14:14)
  • Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
  • Elijah asked, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions?” (1 Kings 18:21)
  • Daniel “resolved in his heart” to be true to God. (Daniel 1:8)
  • Mary of Bethany “had chosen what is better,” and that was to sit at the feet of Jesus. (Luke 10:42)
  • Paul said, “…this one thing I do…” (Philippians 3:13)

I wonder today, where are we setting our faces?

I was encouraged and convicted by Daniel’s faith as we started our “Forged” series last Sunday in Harvest. At just 15 years old, Daniel “resolved in his heart” not to compromise what he was putting into his body. He took a stand as an exile in a strange land not to compromise who God had called him to be. The end result, “And God showed him favor…” (Daniel 1:9). On the other side of the testing, came the stand. And what followed? The blessing.

Remember this point that started the teaching time on Sunday: It is possible to live in Babylon and not compromise who you are and who God has called you to be. The three take-aways from last Sunday’s word were:

  1. Be a transformer (see Romans 12:2)

  2. Resolve to be wholly His

  3. Have the courage to stand for what is right.

This Sunday, we continue in our “Forged” series where I will be moving into Daniel chapter 2.

Remember, we have two services that you can join us either in-person and online: 9:30 and 11:15 a.m.

I hope you’ll join us!

Simon Peter, Jesus and Cinderella

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times should I forgive a brother or sinner who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” – Matthew 18:21-22

Fresh off of the heels of Jesus talking about addressing sin within the lives of other believers, Simon Peter asked Jesus a question on forgiveness. “How many times should we forgive? Up to seven times?” Seven times? Where’d that number come from? In the Old Testament, there was a Jewish belief that the magic number was three times. You were called to “forgive and forgive and forgive.” (see Amos 1-2) In light of that then, many commentators believe that what Simon Peter was actually doing was throwing out a number that more than doubled three times. Hence, seven times. ”Go big or go home,” perhaps, Simon Peter thought. But isn’t it just like Jesus to go beyond our limited thinking? As Peter leaned back, confident in his big number, Jesus smiled and said, “No Peter, sometimes it will take more. Sometimes, it may even take 77 times.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was the magic number that – when you reached it – forgiveness just melted away and all was well with your heart and world? That’s not always the case, however. Wounds happen. Hurts occur. People make decisions that not only hurt themselves, but others in the process. Yet, we’re called to be a people of forgiveness. In Matthew 18:21-22, Jesus was reminding His disciples (and all of us), that forgiveness must be a place that we walk toward, even though it may be a continual, daily process.

I loved the quote that Dr. Stew Grant shared in last Sunday’s closing message from our “TKO” series: “We don’t heal in order to forgive, we forgive in order to heal.” So true.

Believe it or not, one of my favorite scenes that captures the heart of why we must come to a place of forgiveness was found in the 2015 live movie version of “Cinderella.” You can fast forward to about three minutes in but you’ll remember the story. Cinderella, having finally been found by her Prince Charming, is walking out of the house and her eyes fall on the wicked stepmother. What does she do? She pauses, takes a breath, and then the words come out: “I forgive you.”

WATCH: Cinderella Ending Scene

Cinderella’s forgiveness of her stepmother was Cinderella’s realization that – to truly walk into her happily ever after – she didn’t want to carry the pain of the past into her future.

Remember, when she said those words, “I forgive you”, she wasn’t saying, “I excuse the pain you inflicted on me.” Instead, she was simply saying, “I am not carrying that with me from this point on.”

I’ve loved spending time in Matthew 18 over these last several weeks. Our prayer is that, through the messages on humility, honesty and forgiveness, you’ve found some healing and encouragement within these words from Jesus. May God continue to open our eyes to His grace and truth at work in the world around us, and may we, as the children of God, be His hands and feet to a hurting world.

In Jesus’ name.

Blowing in the Wind

There’s a 19th Century folktale about a young man who went around the small village he lived in and loved to spread rumor and gossip about anyone and everyone he could think of. Seeing the harm he was bringing on the small community, the wise sage of the village called the man into his little hut and asked him for a favor. “Would you help an old man out,” the sage asked, “and take this bag of feathers and place them all throughout the village today? And then, at first light tomorrow morning, come back and see me.” Uncertain as to why this was necessary, but also respecting the wisdom in the village elder, the man graciously accepted the task and went about spreading the feathers all over the town. The next morning, bright and early, the young man showed back up at the home of the village elder.

“I have done everything you asked,” replied the young man, “and every feather was placed all around the village.” “Wonderful,” exclaimed the elder. “Now, I have one last thing for you to do. Go back out and pick up every feather you placed around the village.” “What? That’s impossible! There’s no way I can retrieve all of those feathers! The wind has already scattered them.” “Precisely my point,” the village elder replied.

“That is how it is with rumors and gossip. Once it leaves your mouth, you do not know where it ends up. It flies on the wings of the wind and, oftentimes, you can never get it back.”

I love the wisdom in that little story.

Last week, we looked at Matthew 18:15-20, and how Jesus says we are to respond if we see sin in the life of another believer. It’s easy to run away from conflict. It’s even easier to just talk about someone else’s mistakes to someone else. Yet, Jesus says, we’re to go to that person. We are to approach them individually, one on one (Matt. 18:15). If that doesn’t work, we bring a few friends along to let them know that they don’t have to struggle on their own (Matt. 18:16). And even if that doesn’t work, we encourage them to meet with the leadership at the church (Matt. 18:17).

Matthew 18 is so full of wisdom and love. What starts with humility and looking inward (Matthew 18:1-14), quickly turns to looking outward and loving those who may have strayed and walked away from the goodness of God (Matthew 18:15-20). So how does this chapter end? With forgiveness. This Sunday, let’s finish out the TKO series with a message on forgiveness – why it’s necessary and how we’re called to forgive even when it may seem impossible.

Can’t wait to “see” you online, friends.

TKO

If there’s one thing I know to be true it’s this: Conflict is inevitable. Our fallen nature is prone to failings, fallouts and false assumptions. Though a life lived in Christ does not guarantee the absence of conflict, perhaps there’s something within the conflict that can be learned. What if, within the fighting, there’s something deeply transformational that Christ wants us to learn?

In our new Harvest series beginning this Sunday, called TKO, we’re moving from the battles we have seen in scriptures to the battles we face in our everyday lives. Let’s do a deep dive into Matthew 18 and examine what Jesus had to say regarding humility, honesty and forgiveness and, even greater, where those truths meet us today.

This Sunday, let’s start here: Matthew 18:1-14. Before there’s honesty and forgiveness, Jesus addressed the need for humility.

Can’t wait to see you online this Sunday morning!

Lead Me Not to the Chocolate Chip Cookie

A boy climbed up in a chair and started eating chocolate chip cookies that his mother had made and left on the kitchen counter. The problem? His mother told him to stay away from those cookies until after dinner. Catching her son red handed, she surprised him and asked, “What are you doing? Didn’t I tell you to not eat those cookies? They are for after your supper.” With a full mouth, the child replied, “Momma, you don’t understand. I got here on this chair and my teeth got caught!”

He certainly gets points for creativity.

In last week’s Battle Ready message, we looked at the temptations that Jesus faced in the wilderness. Remember the takeaway’s from last week’s message?

Be LED by the Holy Spirit (see John 14:26), be FED by the Word of God (see 1 Peter 2:2), and be ON YOUR GUARD against the spiritual forces of wickedness (See Ephesians 6:10-18).

As you start this new day, let me share a Psalm to encourage you. Within these seven verses found in Psalm 119, you’ll find NINE specific prayers that speak to guidance, encouragement and strength to overcome the temptations that we face on a daily battle.

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes;
and I will keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to your testimonies,
and not to selfish gain!
37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.
38 Confirm to your servant your promise,
that you may be feared.
39 Turn away the reproach that I dread,
for your rules are good.
40 Behold, I long for your precepts;
in your righteousness give me life!

Friend, may you remember today that the battle belongs to the Lord.

Sunday, we’re wrapping up the Battle Ready series and I will be preaching from Revelation 21, the Battle that’s ALREADY been won. I have LOVED this Battle Ready series! Hope to see you Sunday!

Hungry?

I heard a story once of a man who had saved up all of his hard-earned money to take a cruise. Because he saved up just enough money to cover the cost of the ticket, he figured he’d just eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches throughout the duration of the trip since he couldn’t afford anything else. About three days into his trip – surprise – he got tired of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Walking past the lavish buffet bars and seeing the variety of foods made him second guess his decision. So, he spoke to a waiter in a restaurant and asked him the following question: “How much for some steak and potatoes tonight?” The waiter replies, “Excuse me?” “How much money does it cost for me to eat off the buffet bar this evening. I brought peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because I wanted to save some money, but seeing all of this food has made me second guess the wisdom in that decision.” The waiter, looking a little uncomfortable, looked at the man, put a hand on his shoulder and replied, “Sir, I am not sure how to tell you this, but all the food you see here was a part of the cost of the ticket you had already purchased. All you need to do is get a plate.”

Ouch.

I wonder if that’s not a picture of the children of God today. Too many of us may be settling for peanut butter and jelly sandwich-sized servings of faith, and it’s leaving us unsatisfied. Remember this quote from last Sunday’s message:

If you don’t feel a strong desire for the manifestation of the Glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of this world, your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is not room for the great. God did not create you for this. There is an appetite for God and it can be awakened. – John Piper, from the book, The Hunger of God

When Jesus rose, ascended and was seated at the right hand of God the Father, we were granted access to all the spiritual meals made available through that ticket of freedom that Jesus claimed for us all. All the help, enablement and strength is found in Him. Remember. It was fresh Word and Wind that brought a valley of dry bones to life. It happened then, it still happens today.

Sunday, let’s keep this “Battle Ready” series going, shall we? I’ll be preaching from Luke 4. Let’s look at the The Believer’s Invisible Battle. I can’t wait!

“See” you then!